Best Buy In Illinois Catches Fire, Then Floods

A fire broke out in a Best Buy in Quincy, Illinois, over the weekend, and although the sprinkler system put it out promptly, it flooded the entire store in an inch and a half of water. The store manager told the local news station that it would take a few days to clean up and restock inventory—but we prefer to imagine that there’s going to be an awful lot of CompUSA-style “AS IS” deals in the Quincy Best Buy very soon.

(Thanks to the anonymous Quincy Best Buy employee!)

“Fire at Best Buy” [WGEM]

(Photo: Brett L.)


Edit Your Comment

  1. PatrickIs2Smart says:

    Wouldn’t be the first “fire-sale” Best Buy has had…

  2. NightSteel says:

    Haha, you mean, a fire sale?

    Reminds me of those car dealerships that put up big signs to declare ‘no Katrina cars’. If I were a competitor in the area, I’d put up a sign that said ‘no flooded computers’!

  3. coold8 says:

    Karma best buy for your returns department. Every single one of the returns you declined just to be a hassle, is now equal to the products you lost in the fire/water, at least in that store. Karma.

  4. Katrine says:

    That would be THE Best Buy in Quincy, Illinois (or for 100 miles in any direction). This is one of the more exciting things to happen in this community for a while–hopefully the news coverage will prevent most of the as-is sales.

  5. Bay State Darren says:

    Thank God they have the Geek Squad tech masters to repair everything!

  6. Moosehawk says:

    A display started fire? What kind of a display? The original article says no one was in the store at the time.

    After hours employees screwing around?

  7. scoobydoo says:

    Best Buy works fast. The Quincy store isn’t even listed on their store locator at the moment. I wonder if they forgot to tell the store manager something important.

    Or perhaps someone pulled a Milton on them and burned the place down…

  8. Part-Time-Viking says:

    @Moosehawk: “What do you kids have to say for yourselves?”

    “At least we weren’t stealing the products”

  9. aishel says:

    Since when does Best Buy stock exploding bleach?

  10. Bay State Darren says:

    Show of hands: Who here thinks Best Buy didn’t deserve this?…Anyone?

    [OT & BTW, w/ADD: Is Quincy, Ill. pronounced like Quincy, Mass: Kwin-zee? It’s been driving me nuts since I saw the OP.] {/abbreviations}

  11. Usama says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t think this is something that needs to be on

  12. Pro-Pain says:

    @Usama – Thanks for your opinion. NOT.

  13. jesusita says:

    @BayStateDarren: No, it’s pronounced KWIN-see, unlike the one in MA. (I grew up in the area and lived in the town for several years after returning to IL after college.)

    I find this to be bad foreshadowing of this particular Best Buy. It’s a brand new store in an area of new development (being built up right off the interstate off-ramp), but it’s extremely tiny as it is. When I was back in the area at Christmas (my family all live in that area), we were surprised at how small the store was and how inefficient the entire check-out process was. They have the check-out area in a tiny, tiny corner that is partially walled off, so people line up perpendicular to the two cashier desks and right in front of the customer service desk, completely blocking that area while waiting to check out. It was built completely inadequately to begin with and was finished just a few short months back.

    (And their hiring process was unprofessional and insanely disorganized from what I heard from friends and family there.) We went into the place once and refuse to ever set foot in there again.

  14. 46and2 says:

    i work at borders and currently in the inventory room are some books that explode…they’re like lame bargain books or holiday gifty books….but basically they have a light to illuminate the pop out illustrations….but we can’t sell them, or send them back, or throw them away, so they (exploding, flammable) just sit in cardboard boxes until presumably they will be sold to walmart

  15. evan says:

    The Quincy Best Buy is only a couple months old, I think it opened June 2007. Sucks that it burned, the only other place in town to reliably buy any kind of electronics is Wal*Mart. It’s easily the smallest Best Buy I’ve ever been in, also.

    BayStateDarren: The locals all say “Kwin-See”.

  16. Usama says:

    @Pro-Pain: good one

  17. Bay State Darren says:

    @evan: Thanx. Although that automatically makes that TV show about the old dude.

  18. benh57 says:

    First commenters:
    Incidentally, this is actually the origin of the term ‘fire sale’. The original fire sale was exactly that, discounted items after a fire in a store.

    “According to, the term originated in 1890-95 in New Zealand. The fire at Whitcombe and Tombs in Dunedin resulted in a “Fire Sale.””

  19. Craig says:

    And this is relevant to Consumerist how?

  20. Usama says:

    @Craig: Thanks Craig, I agree

  21. JediQ says:

    @Craig: @Usama: If the two of you feel this is not relevant, why post here? Move on to something you feel is relevant and stop wasting time with useless posts.

  22. matto says:

    Hopefully next on the agenda for the store is a plague of locusts. Or a rain of frogs. I can’t remember which was biblical and which was from Magnolia.

  23. starrion says:

    Frogs FTW! And then something about their cattle I think.

    God hates you Best Buy

  24. cde says:

    @matto: Both are biblical.

  25. Spolodaface says:

    Bad Karma :)

  26. Draconianspark says:

    What’s really funny is that most best buys use 1′ deep cable trenches under the carpet; these are the first to flood before the rest of the store gets any water retention, after the 2004 hurricanes it took about six hours to pump them all and then about half of the wiring needed to be restrung.

  27. joemono says:

    @Usama & @Craig: Completely agree. What does this add to the site?

    @JediQ: Are you suggesting that the only opinions welcome are the ones that agree with what the editors have to say? That would make for a very boring comment section, wouldn’t it? The posts by Usama and Craig weren’t useless, as they actually provide feedback to the editors about the content of this site. Your post, on the other hand… well, I hope you can understand the irony.

  28. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Well let’s see.

    a.) It’s about Best Buy, a popular target on this website.

    b.) It’s letting the people who live in that area know to be wary about as-is goods from that Best Buy.

    c.) It’s letting anyone who is actually looking for a fire sale in that area that there should be one coming up soon.

    See, that wasn’t so hard. Anything else?

  29. backbroken says:

    So, will we be seeing great deals on second chance Monster cables at this Best Buy? I’m thinking $65 for a 3′ HDMI cable. What a deal that would be.

    If I’m manager of that Best Buy, I’d be smearing some lamb’s blood on all the laptops. Just in case.

  30. HOP says:


  31. MisterE says:

    Another one bites the dust

    + Watch video

  32. SeaKaySea says:

    Couldn’t happen to a “Nicer” company.

  33. moostrength says:

    Wonder if they’ll have any special “Washer sales” going on

  34. Hanke says:

    Happy people rarely comment. I’ve never had a problem with BestBuy. Now, CompUSA and Circus City, on the other hand…

  35. Usama says:

    @Jaysyn: Alright, that makes sense. Thank you for pointing that out to us.

  36. Sometimes, people, an accident can be an unhappy consumer’s best friend.

  37. Nighthawke says:

    They bloody better not be holding a “fire sale” after they write up and off the entire inventory. They will get in deep dip with the insurance companies over that.

    No, wait, let’s let them have their little sale and watch as they get destroyed over it…

  38. wellfleet says:

    Oooohhh… 100 people won’t have a job for a few days, yaaaay! How is a fire inside a major retailer in a small town good for that town’s economy, exactly? I’m sure all the BB haters are rejoicing, but if I couldn’t work for a few days and wasn’t getting paid, I’d be pretty bummed.

  39. The Stork says:

    @wellfleet: That depends on how BBY chooses to handle it. When I worked for Circuit City several years back we were closed for several days when the area was without power after a particularly vicious storm and everyone scheduled to work that day got paid as if we were open.

  40. Mr. Gunn says:

    Amazing that their sprinkler system wasn’t zonal. Guess they’ll be upgrading that…

  41. WayneB says:

    I wonder if Best Buy might try to get around the wariness of shoppers in the Quincy area by shipping water-damaged goods to other stores.

    But really, a lot of the merchandise will be high and dry. Those #$!%!@ impossible to open blister packs are practically waterproof.

  42. 00exmachina says:


    Some of the more complicated cardboard displays for dvds or cds have battery powered spinning parts, there may have been a short in one of those.

  43. chiieddy says:

    Last year the Cambridgeside Best Buy in MA was flooded due to a water main break about a month before the Christmas holidays. The store took stock at how long the repairs would take and moved up a planned re-furbish of the entire store since they’d be closed for the holidays regardless.

  44. Smitherd says:

    Well-placed tag; this is definitely Wrath of God type stuff.

    Maybe it’s retribution for all those Easter egg hunts.

  45. f3rg says:

    “Sorry, the laptop you brought in for repair was covered in water… oh, and it’s not our fault.”

  46. Gordon2 says:

    The name “Best Buy” actually came about because of a fire sale–except that it was a tornado. BB used to be “The Sound of Music” and was a local chain in the Twin Cities. A tornado hit the Roseville, MN store in 1981, and they held a tent sale to get rid of the storm-damaged merchandise. The sale went so well that the owner decided that going after the low end of the market worked better, and in 1983 renamed the chain and opened the first superstore.

  47. MPHinPgh says:

    @Craig: It’s relevant because many of us hate Best Buy, and appreciate the whole karma thing. Personally, I quietly chuckle at news of this nature. If it had been WalMart, I might have actually giggled…

  48. dweebster says:

    @Craig: Because it’s good news that there’s one less “Best” Buy open to screw citizen consumers?

    Seriously, when a “Best” Buy closes, an angel gets it’s wings. Tuuly this is an Act of God.

  49. dweebster says:

    @WayneB: Hell, those things are BULLETproof. Many a serious wound has been created attempting to get to the goodies inside – where’s a class action attorney when you need one?